Valley Upset Unseats Menard

Republican upstart Mike Dunleavy is heading to Juneau. Dunleavy’s upset of incumbent Wasilla Senator Linda Menard has big implications for next year’s legislature.

Early returns Tuesday evening showed Senate District D challenger Mike Dunleavy leading incumbent Senator Linda Menard for a pivotal legislative seat. Unofficial election results late last night after all precincts were in gave Dunleavy 2257 yea ballots.. 58 % of the vote, leaving Menard trailing with 1620 votes, or 41% of the ballot.

Dunleavy spent election evening with his supporters at Wasilla’s Windbreak Cafe. He did not express surprise at the out come of the vote

“It’s tough to gauge these elections. I knew that folks wanted a change, I knew that folks wanted a future for Alaska, and it appears that ‘s what’s happening.”

He said he drew support from all over the District.

“I think a lot of folks in the Valley believe that Alaska can be more than what it is right now. And to pinpoint it to one group or another, I don’t think so, I think we’ve cut it across a whole number of groups, folks from all different ways of thinking, walks of life have support this campaign.”

Dunleavy’s win essentially gains him the District D seat, since no challenger has registered for that race in the upcoming state election in November

“… unless there was a write-in. That’s correct, there’s nobody on the ballot as of now, yes.”

Senator Menard had been a member of the Senate Bi-Partisan working group, which had blocked the Parnell administration’s oil tax plan.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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